Goodwood: Renault Sport stars steal the show

R.S. fans who ventured to Goodwood for the annual Festival of Speed in the UK over the weekend of June 4-7 got a rip-roaring taste of their favourite marque over a weekend packed with supercars, new and classic cars, motorbikes, and appearances by both current and legendary racing drivers.

Set against the backdrop of beautiful English countryside and typically changeable British weather, one of the biggest draws of the weekend proved to be the appearance on the Sunday of current Renault F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Goodwood typically allows fans to get up-close-and-personal with drivers and the seven-time GP winner was practically mobbed for autographs wherever he went as he threw T-shirts into the crowd and stood around for hours to pose for endless selfies. The huge interest in the Aussie F1 star and his incredible patience and dedication to his fans saw UK motoring website Autocar choose Daniel’s appearance as one of its favourite moments of the whole festival – an incredible accolade given everything that was on show.

Aside from his meet-and-greet, fans also got to see Daniel in action as he took Renault’s current F1 car on a spin around Goodwood’s famed Hillclimb piste, thrilling the crowd by spinning donuts in the assembly area ahead of his circuit.

Other drivers from the Renault stable also played to the crowd over the weekend. Laurent Hurgon, driver when the brand new Mégane R.S. Trophy-R broke the lap record in the front-wheel drive production car category at the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife in April this year, was another popular choice for supporters to chat to - with everyone wanting to know more details about his record-breaking run.

Interest in the Trophy-R, which goes on limited-edition sale later this year, was naturally huge thanks to that record, and spectators saw it at close quarters, both on its Renault stand and powering around the Hillclimb with Hurgon at the helm.

Goodwood - now approaching its 27th year - is widely seen as ‘the world’s greatest celebration of motorsports’, a festival that spans everything from classic cars to super-futuristic concepts, and some of Renault Sport’s legends of racing also raised cheers over the course of the weekend.

There was huge enthusiasm around classic R.S. cars such as the RS10, Renault 5 Turbo and Renault R21 Turbo, while track legends, including former F1 stars Michel Leclère and René Arnoux, also received warm welcomes. The latter, well-known for finishing third at the 1979 French Grand Prix after a historic thrilling battle for second with Gilles Villeneuve in the Flat-12 Ferrari, was particularly popular, spending many hours signing autographs for fans and posing for hundreds of pictures before driving up the hill in the RS10.

Elsewhere, fans enjoyed a whole host of other entertainment - from four-wheeled drift cars to the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – the thrilling Red Arrows – and Nascar motors to futuristic motorcars. All-in-all, a triumphant weekend for both Renault and the iconic festival itself.